It appears Trump has saved the NEA for a rainy day

It appears Trump has saved the NEA for a rainy day


norman lebrecht

May 08, 2017

Breitbart News, mouthpiece of Trumpworld, reports that the proposed Congressional budget increases the budgets of both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, agencies that President Donald Trump planned to eliminate in his own budget proposal this year….

Additionally, the budget proposal would increase the budgets of both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities by $2 million each, bringing their respective budgets to $150 million in total.

It looks as if lobbying Congress has saved arts grants, for the time being. But Breitbart suggests this was a compromise that was forced on the White House. Next time round, Trump will want total abolition.

The picture Breitbart uses was selected to show the NEA as decadent and useless. We won’t reprint it.



  • V.Lind says:

    Well, for all I support the NEA, if I am going to support funding that particular artist, I could wish he would invest some of his grant in a costume rather than turning up in his none-too-satisfactory (aesthetically) drawers.

    If regietheater can be criticised, then surely there is room to take exception to sheer vulgarity, as opposed to pushing the envelope. And to other forms of self-indulgence.

  • Andrew Constantine says:

    The NEA budget in 1981 was just under $159 million…

  • Robert Holmén says:

    Does that Breitbart picture have any connection to an NEA project? The article text didn’t explain it.

    • John says:

      Since it’s Breitbart, I’d say it’s anyone’s guess where it came from, but probably not the NEA or anything funded by it. Especially since there’s no caption or reference to it.

  • Mikey says:

    “Trump” did not save funding for the NEA.
    Congress decided to rewrite those parts of the budget.
    Please don’t give the orange sh*t-gibbon credit for things he hasn’t done. God knows he already tries to take credit for other people’s actions enough already.

  • Linda Renkwitz says:

    The sculpture in the photo is from the recent Wanderlust Art Exhibition located on the High Line In New York City. It was a group exhibition that explored the themes of walking, journeys, and pilgrimages. It is entitled “Sleepwalker”, by Tony Matelli (b.1971) and this is his best known work. It is a hyper-realistic painted bronze sculpture of a somnambulant man lost and adrift in the world, meandering about in a deep sleep. It collected large crowds while it was exhibited, as it was so very lifelike and arresting.

    • Pianofortissimo says:

      Why should American tax payers, or any tax payers, fund that thing?

      • Peter says:

        Because that’s what civilized people do: support the arts (and science). That’s how civilizations win and aspire to grow.
        Uncivilized people on the other hand usually spend substantially more public money on the military and wars. Since they only have the sword, not the brain, to convince others of their superiority.

        • Pianofortissimo says:

          Dear Peter: There is high culture (which has to be supported) and there is sensation-seeking thrash. That sculpture is not something like Michelangelo’s David, to use an extremely good example of enrichment of the public space, it is rather something annoying and tasteless. There are of course worse sculptures in public spaces, and sometimes the public can ‘make justice’ with their own hands – for example there is a bronze sculpture in Stockholm (in the Östermalstorg) that has been emasculated (the penis of the image has been sawn) and repaired (the penis has been ‘restaured’ to its glorious form) several times. NEA and other culture-funding agencies should use their already small budget in educating the new generations, not funding sensationalist, awful projects. How many music classes, for example, can be paid with the cost of a bronze sculpture of a guy in underpants? [For the record: I appreciate Modern Art but not all that appropriates that name.]

          • Peter says:

            Ok, I thought you refer to the NEA in general. Cultural education should be another – and very big – tax financed budget though, not NEA’s.

            Let’s not forget, the US spends about 1/200th per capita on the arts compared to other G7 nations, namely Germany. But 5 times or more per capita on warfare than these countries. (It’s more warfare than actual defense these days.)

            Stupid people will not allow an Empire to survive, no matter how strong the military is.

  • Bruce says:

    No worse than the (non-NEA-funded) statues of Trump that appeared in several US cities last summer:

  • Luigi Nonono says:

    It is high time that the NEA restored its classical music solo recital touring artist program. After all, it made Yo-Yo Ma famous. It was cut because of the crappy performance artists, and there’s no reason for them to be linked. There are no comparable programs anymore, and moreover, eligibility should have nothing to do with student loan status.